Whilst NASP is supportive of the overall direction of the proposed changes, we would like to point out our concerns on a number of matters.
A number of our members have commented on platooning and have suggested that Motorway signs should warn motorists that a platooning convoy is in operation ahead and that platooning should only be allowed at off-peak times. It would also be useful for there to be a public information campaign on this subject.
Regarding changes to the Highway Code we are happy with the changes to the Highway Code and consider them necessary, sensible and proportionate.
It is clear that the Pathway to Driverless Cars will be made up of numerous small steps and completely autonoums car are some way off. We are concerned that members of the public are starting to conceive that any car with features that allow it to accelerate, brake, and steer a cars with limited or no driver interaction are autonomous. Some drivers already struggle to properly recognise the function, role and capability of existing assisted driver technology and sometimes invest more trust in these functions to manage risk, or take risk mitigating action, than they should. As we move towards a future with fully automated technology more drivers will be become more confident of the vehicle's ability to perceive, mitigate or manage risk but that confidence itself may at times be misplaced.
We need to ensure that education about the role and responsibility of assisted or automated vehicle technology is delivered alongside any new vehicle or infrastructure innovation and embed in drivers the vital knowledge that they cannot abdicate management of the vehicle or the drive, regardless of the level of automation provided.
We call for the government and manufacturers to work closely with driver training organisations to deliver a programme of education on this subject and as we see more assisted and autonomous technology hit our roads, we need to ensure that all road users are aware of the limitations and risks of the technology, as well as it’s functionality.